Cision PR Newswire

McGruff the Crime Dog smells big crime with the sale of fake pills and other counterfeit products

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- McGruff the Crime Dog® takes direct aim at the sale of fake pills and other counterfeit products in a new public service announcement released today.

The ad features three assembly lines making real and fake products including sneakers, cosmetics, and fake pills. As the factory settings change, the hazards associated with fakes are spotlighted. At the end, the iconic crime dog is revealed, urging viewers and listeners to "think again," before buying fake products. Child labor, faulty safety standards, and the use of illicit fentanyl are called out in the television, radio, and social media ads.

"McGruff smells big crime around the sale of dangerous and lethal fake products," said Paul DelPonte, Executive Director at the National Crime Prevention Council. "The ad points out that far from saving money, you're putting money right in the hands of criminals."

The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) debut the PSA as part of the Go For Real™ campaign, which has already generated more than 1.5 billion impressions as tracked by the Nielsen Company. McGruff delves into 21st century crimes in 3D animation with this innovative ad produced through computer generated imagery.

"We must work to curb the physical and economic harms caused by faulty and dangerous counterfeit products, while freezing out the criminal enterprises they support," said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. "By working together to reduce the scourge of fakes and raising awareness about the dangers and costs of purchasing counterfeits, it's our hope that we can make a real difference in this ongoing effort." 

Each year, approximately $2 trillion worth of counterfeit products are sold to consumers across the United States. Fake electronics are responsible for over 70 deaths and 350,000 serious injuries each year. The money from fake products may be used to fund international organized crime and illegal activities like gang violence, child labor, and human trafficking. These low-cost products often come with a high price tag.

The award-winning Go For Real campaign aims to transform buying behavior away from fake products by educating consumers about the criminal activity and harmful nature of counterfeits. In addition to public service announcements, the campaign uses a wide-range of tools to reach consumers, especially teens and tweens. This includes school visits, a partnership with NASCAR driver Joey Gase, online games, an award-winning YouTube series, and a robust social media program. To learn more, visit and McGruff is also active on all social media platforms via @McGruffatNCPC.

About the National Crime Prevention Council
The nonprofit National Crime Prevention Council is home to McGruff the Crime Dog® and has helped generations of Americans Take A Bite Out Of Crime® through public education campaigns and advocating for public policies to make the U.S. safer. Follow NCPC on Threads, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and X (@McGruffatNCPC).

Media Contact: 
Noah Mutterperl,, 202-991-1162

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SOURCE National Crime Prevention Council

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